A bulging disc is different from a herniated disc, in that the tougher exterior cartilage bulges, or extends, outside of the normal space it typically occupies. The bulging disc often bulges into the spinal canal, resulting in future problems of the spine.
What are the Causes of a Bulging Disc?
Bulging discs are common with aging and disc degeneration. Bulging discs are not something to worry about unless the bulging results in the spinal canal narrowing. Athletes and those with physical jobs may also have a greater possibility of having a bulging disc.
What are the Symptoms of a Bulging Disc?
Symptoms of a bulging disc can include pain, weak muscles and numbness. Often, symptoms will occur in other parts of the body where the nerves are affected. In a thoracic spinal bulging disc, there may be tingling in the legs, spasmic reflexes and paralysis from the waist down. In cervical spinal bulging discs, there is pain during neck movement and pain in the shoulders that radiate down the arms. Symptoms often start slow and get worse over time.